Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 111

Prayer Point. Another opportunity to praise God as the psalmist lists what God had done for Israel during their history. Pick one or two items that resonate with your own story and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving.

John 14:1-7

Background.  The setting of today’s reading is Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion the next day.  He has just informed them that he will be leaving, which greatly troubles them and he now seeks to calm their fears.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus’ departure and return to his Father should cause the disciples to rejoice.
  • The only way to know and go to the Father.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

1 Peter 2:2-10

Background.  Central to today’s reading are prophesies from Isaiah and the Psalms. Each one of these passages foretold the coming of Jesus.

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16)

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone …” (Psalm 118:22)

“A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” (Isaiah 8:14)

Jesus is the (living) stone in each of these passages. Those who rejected him as the Son of God stumbled and fell. Yet for those who believed in him, Jesus is both a cornerstone and capstone of a new temple that God is building.

God’s presence in the Old Testament was concentrated in the temple in Jerusalem. The temple is simply the place or spiritual house  where God’s presence lives and where one goes to worship him.  In today’s reading, Peter will speak of a new temple that is built on the cornerstone of the crucified and risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

The priests were those who served God in the temple and offered sacrifices and prayers on behalf of God’s people.  In today’s reading there will be a new priesthood to go along with a new temple.

Pay close attention to …

  • The identity of the living stones which make up God’s new spiritual house or temple.
  • Why Jesus is a stumbling stone for some and a cornerstone for others
  • The new priests in verse 9.
  • Why God chose to bestow this honor on those like us who were not a people and had not yet received God’s mercy.

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

Isaiah 43:8-13

Background. In Chapter 24 Isaiah tells us of the Servant of the LORD.  This “Servant” appears to shift between the coming Messiah and the nation of Israel. The text is not clear.  In it we learn that God has chosen “one in whom I delight” — the same turn of phrase God used twice in Jesus’ life (at his baptism and at the transfiguration).

Earlier in Chapter 25 the LORD emphasizes “this is what the LORD says — he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed [bought back — j.t.] you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 25:1 NIV)

Pay close attention to …

  • The blind and deaf (v. 8 )
  • What the LORD is calling the people to do  (v 10)
  • What the witnesses are witnessing to (vv. 12 , 13)

Listen. Believe. Obey. Share.

What is the passage saying? About God? About ourselves? (Listen)
What is God asking us to believe? (Believe)
What is God asking us to do? (Obey)
Who can we share this with? (Share)

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